Highlights d The SLC1A5 variant is a mitochondrial glutamine transporter d The SLC1A5 variant has a mitochondrial targeting sequence d Hypoxia controls SLC1A5 variant expression through HIF-2a d The SLC1A5 variant mediates mitochondrial glutamine metabolism in cancer
Dynamic regulation of glucose flux between aerobic glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) during epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is not well-understood. Here we show that Snail (SNAI1), a key transcriptional repressor of EMT, regulates glucose flux toward PPP, allowing cancer cell survival under metabolic stress. Mechanistically, Snail regulates glycolytic activity via repression of phosphofructokinase, platelet (PFKP), a major isoform of cancer-specific phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), an enzyme involving the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. The suppression of PFKP switches the glucose flux towards PPP, generating NADPH with increased metabolites of oxidative PPP. Functionally, dynamic regulation of PFKP significantly potentiates cancer cell survival under metabolic stress and increases metastatic capacities in vivo. Further, knockdown of PFKP rescues metabolic reprogramming and cell death induced by loss of Snail. Thus, the Snail-PFKP axis plays an important role in cancer cell survival via regulation of glucose flux between glycolysis and PPP.
Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent regulated necrosis mediated by lipid peroxidation. Cancer cells survive under metabolic stress conditions by altering lipid metabolism, which may alter their sensitivity to ferroptosis. However, the association between lipid metabolism and ferroptosis is not completely understood. In this study, we found that the expression of elongation of very long-chain fatty acid protein 5 (ELOVL5) and fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1) is up-regulated in mesenchymal-type gastric cancer cells (GCs), leading to ferroptosis sensitization. In contrast, these enzymes are silenced by DNA methylation in intestinal-type GCs, rendering cells resistant to ferroptosis. Lipid profiling and isotope tracing analyses revealed that intestinal-type GCs are unable to generate arachidonic acid (AA) and adrenic acid (AdA) from linoleic acid. AA supplementation of intestinal-type GCs restores their sensitivity to ferroptosis. Based on these data, the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) biosynthesis pathway plays an essential role in ferroptosis; thus, this pathway potentially represents a marker for predicting the efficacy of ferroptosis-mediated cancer therapy.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most frequent causes of liver disease and its prevalence is a serious and growing clinical problem. Caloric restriction (CR) is commonly recommended for improvement of obesity-related diseases such as NAFLD. However, the effects of CR on hepatic metabolism remain unknown. We investigated the effects of CR on metabolic dysfunction in the liver of obese diabetic db/db mice. We found that CR of db/db mice reverted insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, body weight and adiposity to those of db/m mice. 1H-NMR- and UPLC-QTOF-MS-based metabolite profiling data showed significant metabolic alterations related to lipogenesis, ketogenesis, and inflammation in db/db mice. Moreover, western blot analysis showed that lipogenesis pathway enzymes in the liver of db/db mice were reduced by CR. In addition, CR reversed ketogenesis pathway enzymes and the enhanced autophagy, mitochondrial biogenesis, collagen deposition and endoplasmic reticulum stress in db/db mice. In particular, hepatic inflammation-related proteins including lipocalin-2 in db/db mice were attenuated by CR. Hepatic metabolomic studies yielded multiple pathological mechanisms of NAFLD. Also, these findings showed that CR has a therapeutic effect by attenuating the deleterious effects of obesity and diabetes-induced multiple complications.
Obesity is a multifactorial health problem resulting from genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. A particularly interesting aspect of obesity is the differences observed in response to the same high-fat diet (HFD). In this study, we performed lipidomic profiling on livers from HFD-fed C57BL/6J mice using ultra-performance liquid chromatography–quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Mice were divided into three groups: normal diet (ND), HFD-obesity prone (HFD-OP), and HFD-obesity resistant (HFD-OR). Principal components analyses showed a difference between the HFD-OP and HFD-OR groups. Individuals in the HFD-OR group were closer to those in the ND group compared with those in the HFD-OP group. In particular, phosphocholine (PC) and triglyceride (TG) levels differed significantly depending on the length of the acyl chain and degree of unsaturation, respectively. PC species were either positively or negatively correlated with concentrations of glucose, insulin, leptin, and hepatic cholesterol according to the length of the acyl chain. Decreased expression of the scavenger receptor B1 and ATP-binding cassette A1 in HFD-OP mice indicated that the acyl chain length of PC species may be related to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism. This study demonstrates that lipidomic profiling is an effective approach to analyzing global lipid alterations as they pertain to obesity.
HIF-1 is associated with poor prognoses and therapeutic resistance in cancer patients. We previously developed a novel hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 inhibitor, IDF-11774, a clinical candidate for cancer therapy. We also reported that IDF-1174 inhibited HSP70 chaperone activity and suppressed accumulation of HIF-1α. In this study, IDF-11774 inhibited the accumulation of HIF-1α in vitro and in vivo in colorectal carcinoma HCT116 cells under hypoxic conditions. Moreover, IDF-11774 treatment suppressed angiogenesis of cancer cells by reducing the expression of HIF-1 target genes, reduced glucose uptake, thereby sensitizing cells to growth under low glucose conditions, and decreased the extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) and oxygen consumption rate of cancer cells. Metabolic profiling of IDF-11774-treated cells revealed low levels of NAD+, NADP+, and lactate, as well as of intermediates in glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. In addition, we observed elevated AMP and diminished ATP levels, resulting in a high AMP/ATP ratio. The level of AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation also increased, leading to inhibition of mTOR signaling in treated cells. In vivo xenograft assays demonstrated that IDF-11774 exhibited substantial anticancer efficacy in mouse models containing KRAS, PTEN, or VHL mutations, which often occur in malignant cancers. Collectively, our data indicate that IDF-11774 suppressed hypoxia-induced HIF-1α accumulation and repressed tumor growth by targeting energy production-related cancer metabolism.
Despite the importance of glucose and amino acids for energy metabolism, interactions between the two nutrients are not well understood. We provide evidence for a role of leucyl-tRNA synthetase 1 (LARS1) in glucose-dependent control of leucine usage. Upon glucose starvation, LARS1 was phosphorylated by Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1) at the residues crucial for leucine-binding. The phosphorylated LARS1 showed decreased leucine-binding, which may inhibit protein synthesis and help save energy. Leucine, not used to anabolic process, may be available to catabolic pathway for energy generation. The LARS1-mediated changes in leucine utilization might help support cell survival deprived of glucose. Thus, dependent on the availability of glucose, LARS1 may help regulate whether leucine is used for protein synthesis or energy production.
Cervical cancer remains one of the most prevalent cancers among females worldwide. Therefore, it is important to discover new biomarkers for early diagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer, preferably non-invasive ones. In the present study, we aimed to identify unique metabolic signatures for CINs and cervical cancers using global and targeted metabolomic profiling. Plasma samples (69 normal, 55 CIN1, 42 CIN2/3, and 60 cervical cancer) were examined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF-MS) coupled with multivariate statistical analysis. Metabolic pathways were analyzed using the integrated web-based tool MetaboAnalyst. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the combined association of metabolites and human papillomavirus (HPV) status with the risk of cervical carcinogenesis. A total of 28 metabolites exhibiting discriminating levels among normal, CIN, and cervical cancer patients (Kruskal–Wallis test p < 0.05) were identified in the global profiling analysis. The pathway analysis showed significantly altered alanine, aspartate, and glutamate metabolic pathways (FDR p-value < 0.05) in both the discovery and validation phases. Seven metabolites (AMP, aspartate, glutamate, hypoxanthine, lactate, proline, and pyroglutamate) were discriminated between CINs and cervical cancer versus normal (area under the curve (AUC) value > 0.8). The levels of these metabolites were significantly high in patients versus normal (p < 0.0001) and were associated with increased risk of developing CIN2/3 and cervical cancer. Additionally, elevated levels of the seven metabolites combined with positive HPV status were correlated with substantial risk of cancer progression. These results demonstrated that metabolomics profiling is capable of distinguishing CINs and cervical cancers from normal and highlighted potential biomarkers for the early detection of cervical carcinogenesis.
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